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Paddy’s 5 best-backed horses for Christmas
The cold snap put paid to quite a bit of Jumps racing before the holidays, but now things have thawed out we have an extravaganza over Christmas, most notably at Kempton and Leopardstown, but also at Limerick and other venues.
Here we outline Paddy’s best backed horse in a few of the Christmas crackers and also a couple of other notably well-supported combatants.
Champion trainer Paul Nicholls has a devastating record in this event and Bravemansgame has been supported to provide him with an incredible 13th success in the seasonal highlight.
The seven-year-old went into last season’s Mildmay Novices’ Chase at Aintree with four straight wins under his belt, but disappointed finishing last of four behind Ahoy Senor.
Wind surgery over the summer seems to have worked its trick as he looked better than ever when easily winning his sole start this season in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby in October.
He’s only had one run at Kempton previously, but that winning performance will have given his backers confidence as he was seven and a half lengths too powerful for the aforementioned Ahoy Senor and the money says he’s the one to beat.
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Fil Dor never won a top-class hurdle as he had the misfortune to bump into Vauban on three consecutive occasions, including in the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
With that rival not among the festive opposition and despite the fact that he’s only had one outing in public over the bigger obstacles, punters seem to think that he is home and hosed in this Grade 1 novice chase.
It certainly is a big jump up in class from his winning debut over fences at Navan last month, but the manner of that victory was impressive to say the least and the runner-up that day Saint Roi was no back number over hurdles being rated 153 and not being disgraced behind Honeysuckle on a number of occasions over timber last season.
Gerri Colombe is another in this list to have just enjoyed one winning start over fences, but been hammered for his respective Christmas contest as a result of the impression created.
That victory came in a beginners’ chase at Fairyhouse last month, when he jumped well for a comfortable two and three-quarter length success from Bronn, who himself won a Grade 2 novice hurdle at the same venue in April.
This Saddler Maker gelding figures quite highly in Paddy’s Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival list and he holds an unbeaten in six outings record.
Trainer Peter Fahey has become known for successful international raids courtesy of Belfast Banter in the County Hurdle and Surprise Package in last season’s Paddy Power Imperial Cup and punters have waded in to his The Big Dog in this gruelling long-distance heat.
The Mahler gelding actually ran in it last year, but that can be ignored as he blundered and his rider lost an iron at the ninth obstacle and he’s been in rude form since, scoring on his last two starts in the Munster National and Troytown Handicap Chase.
Both those victories came over three miles, but his supporters probably need have no fears over this longer trip as he prevailed in the 2021 Punchestown Grand National Trial over three and a half miles on soft ground.
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Grand National-winning handler Martin Brassil’s Panda Boy has been the one who has aroused the interest of backers as he returns to three miles after a couple of outings over shorter in Graded company.
Neither of those last two efforts would appear to scream ‘this is the winner of the big festive betting heat in Ireland’.
But it’s intriguing that the Curragh conjuror chose to step back in trip after a facile win over this distance on his chasing bow at Punchestown in May and last season this six-year-old had one start over two and a half miles before hacking up over this trip in a handicap hurdle at this fixture.
Paddy’s 5 best-backed horses
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Odds quoted on the widget are Future Racing / Antepost prices which means that if your selection does not run in the race for whatever reason – you will lose your stake under traditional Antepost rules
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